Touch Free, Just Use Your Head

Israel Innovation News is reporting a very simple but cool new technology for the disabled.

It enables them to “read, play games, search the web, and make calls without the need for touch.”

Sesame Reader, from the Google App Store, “tracks your face and allows you to turn [eReader] pages with the movement of your head.”

You can also dial a number or type of a keyboard by using movement of the head to control the cursor movement and by hovering over a button to “click it.”

This helps people to function in a digital world, when otherwise they couldn’t.

Hence, the name Sesame from Ali Baba’s magic phrase “Open Sesame.”

Now people can read, write, and interact with others online–even when they don’t have use of their limbs because of neurological, muscular, and other structural defect, or if they simply want hands-free use.

Touchscreens, keyboards, and keypads are now accessible to anyone with the simple turn of the head–up, down, left, and right is all all it takes to navigate, touchless. 😉

Dyson Vs. Dirt Devil

Vacuum

For those of you neat freaks out there, you probably have been sold on the King of Vacuum cleaners–the Dyson!

Dyson, a British company has built a vacuum cleaner (and fan and hand dryer) empire with 4,000 employees and $1.5 billion in sales.

For a number of years now I have used Dyson including their super powerful (and expensive) “Animal” bagless cleaner–this thing actually ate up one of my phone cords and tore it to shreds.

I’ve also had other Dysons and my experience has been that while they look really nice in their bright yellows and grays, and sort of sleek for a vacuum, but they tend to break down–especially the motor for the brushes that work on the floor that I find accumulates hair and dirt around the spinner until it stops working.

The other thing that I’ve found with the Dyson is they come with so many annoying attachments, many with no place to actually attach them all–I think it is overkill for most people’s basic cleaning needs.

After going through a number of Dysons, I finally got fed up with paying so much and getting so little, and we decided to stop “investing” in short-lived Dyson vacuum cleaners.

Instead we said let’s get a simple, cheapo, Dirt Devil for like 50 bucks and run it into the ground. If it stopped working we could replace it 6-10 times for the cost of a single Dyson!

We purchased the Dirt Devil, and my expectations were very low–I actually considered it an experiment in purchasing this low-tech machine, and just seeing what we would get.

Well, it’s been about 3 months and I can’t believe the amount of vacuum you can get for so little money with the Dirt Devil–it is bagless like the Dyson and without scientifically measuring the amount of dirt it picks up, I’d say it is almost equivalent in getting the dirty job done.

Additionally, the Dirt Devil–doesn’t come with all the useless attachments–a case where more is less–and it weighs only around 8 pounds, which is 1/3 of what the Dyson weighed–so it is much easier to use around the home.

Similarly, when I look at the cool Dyson fans without blades, it seems almost magical how they actually work, but frankly who cares if it cost $300-$450 and doesn’t work as well as a basic floor Vornado that sells for about $120.

My opinion is that Dyson is generally overpriced and underperforms–but at least you’ll have the image of innovation and performance, even if not the reality at the price point.

Anyway, If I had a vacuum cleaner dream, it would be to one day get one of those “commercial” vacuum cleaners that you see being used in the huge buildings–almost non-stop use–and they may cost a little more, but they actually give you more as well. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Molly DG)

Brilliant Knife Set Design

Deglon Meeting Knife SetI came across this brilliant knife set by French company, Deglon, called Meeting–I would assume it’s called that because of how the knives meet up and fit together into a single stainless steel block.


I love the the simplicity and eloquence, and these won the European Cutlery Design Award.


There are four knives in this set for paring, utility, chef, and fillet. 

Deglon also has a steak knife set–similar concept in that the knives fit together, but they stack rather than fit inside each other, so it is cute, but has less of a wow-factor. 


My other concern with these knifes is their handle which doesn’t have a cushioned or rubberized grib–so for lots of cooking and cutting, I am not sure how comfortable or slip-resistant these are to use.


Similarly, some of the knives may not be so quick and easy to pull them out and use, especially the ones that are tucked inside the others. 


Perhaps, these are an example of form versus function–where this contemporary knife set look very beautiful, but how practical are they for everyday use?


At $750, I am pretty sure these are better than anything I use regularly, but I am definitely no chef! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal screenshot at Deglon.com)

The Integrated Hat

Even a hat can get a A+ for integration and this one does. 

It comes as a nice straw hat with eye slots and a sunglass effect built in–just roll the front lid up and down to adjust the coverage. 

Takes a little of its strong look from Batwoman and a lot from the runway models of Fashion Week. 

I like it for its creativity and coy looks–not so much for it’s functionality, I am sure. 

So Apple may have a lock-up on integration when it comes hardware and software these days, but Kate Spade has it hats-off in the fashion arena.  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shalom Rotundus

Rotundus, the rolling robot, was designed by the European Space Agency for exploration of distant planets like Mars and Mercury, but now it has found its way into many earthly avocations.
This Groundbot has “eyes” on either side of its roly-poly robotic body and has a unique internal pendulum for maneuvering around.
Currently, Rotundus is deployed for sentry duty at SAAB auto manufacturing plants.
However, as you can see in the video, it can also function comfortably in a home environment as a quasi baby-sitter for the kids.
Already, we see robots in Japan providing service to people from servers in restaurants to caretakers for the elderly.
I appreciated the interview with the CTO at Rotundus who shares his vision for robots that “provide not only security, but also pleasure to people.”
Rotundus is a great example of how robots can come in virtually any way, shape or form.
The key is that robots leverage the best of automation and innovation to help ordinary people do things simpler, easier, and more convenient than ever before.

>Fit For A King

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So technology really does come to everything, eventually.
Check out Kohler’s new high-tech toilet, the Numi.
Aside from all sorts of automatic functions from opening the toilet (from up to 8 feet away), to raising the seat for men based on foot sensors, to even flushing with varying power level based on how long you’ve been doing your business, the Numi really performs as the “toilet of the future” as CNET calls it.
Using a touch-tablet remote (that magnetically docks to a wall panel):
– It washes (through an extending bidet with LED lights)
– It dries (with an built in air dryer and deodorizer)
– It cleans (the bowl with 2 modes–1.28 or 0.6 gallons of water for the eco-conscious, and it also cleanses the bidet head with water or a bath of UV light)
– It warms (by controls for seat temperature and blows warm air at your feet), and
– It entertains (with FM radio and speakers as well as integrates with your iPod/iPhones).
For $6,400 you get yourself a true throne with form and function fit for a gadget king.
(Credit Picture of Remote to Scott Stein/CNET and Credit Picture of Numi Side to Kohler)
Kohler_numi Toilet_side